Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 9 - 16 of 2506 in category All (newest first):


High-performance graphene nanomesh filtration membranes inspired by cell walls

nanofiltrationGraphene-based membranes have attracted considerable attention as promising candidates for new filtration technologies for filtering out nanoparticles, organic molecules, and even small inorganic salt ions. Putting a nature-inspired spin on the fabrication of high-performance graphene membranes for tricky oil/water separations - even in stable emulsions - researchers have demonstrated a graphene nanomesh membrane that possessed high hydrophilicity, super-oleophobicity and low oil adhesion underwater.

May 31st, 2022

Nanomaterial-enabled bacteriophage therapy for wound infections

bacteriaOne interesting alternative to traditional antibiotics is phage therapy. Bacteriophages are viruses that selectively target and solely kill bacteria, even multi-drug resistant ones. However, scientists don't yet have the full picture of how it works and what the potential risks are. In view of these challenges, researchers have considered an alternative approach where phages are destroyed immediately after use, thus controlling dosage and circumventing undesirable consequences while maintaining the advantages of whole phage as antibacterial delivery vehicle.

May 30th, 2022

A new member in flatland - MBenes awaiting successful synthesis

MBenesDecades of research on transition metal borides (TMBs) and their phases have led to a novel class of 2D transition metal borides termed MBenes - the boron-analogues of MXenes. Due to the very early stage of development, little is known about MBenes' physical and chemical properties, although excellent mechanical, electronic, metallic/semiconducting, capacitive, and thermoelectric properties have been theoretically predicted for them. However, even the most accurate theoretical predictions and optimistic predictions demonstrating MBenes' outstanding physical properties cannot be realized if researchers are not able to experimentally synthesize them - something the research community still is waiting for.

May 26th, 2022

Tech firms are making computer chips with human cells - is it ethical?

cellWe are in the early stages of neural computing and have time to think through the ethical issues involved. Among other things, if neural computers become common, we will grapple with tissue donation issues. Scientists have found that human neurons were faster at learning than neurons from mice. Might there also be differences in performance depending on whose neurons are used? Might Apple and Google be able to make lightning-fast computers using neurons from our best and brightest today? Would someone be able to secure tissues from deceased genius's like Albert Einstein to make specialized limited-edition neural computers?

May 24th, 2022

Bio-inspired 'wooden armor' modeled on the structure of fish scales

Bouligand-structureResearchers have designed and fabricated a bio-inspired, high strength and high toughness lignocellulose-based material that can serve as a 'wood armor' that rivals the performance of conventional engineering materials such as glass, ceramics or alloys. This wooden armor has biomimetic flexible-rigid layered Bouligand-like structures similar to the scales of pirarucu, a fish that can withstand piranha attacks. In ballistic tests it withstood 9 mm caliber bullets with an impact velocity of 214 meters per second.

May 24th, 2022

Towards 4D printing with structural colors

structural-color3D printing with stimuli-responsive materials is called 4D printing. 4D printing enables 3D printed structures to change its configurations over time and is used in a wide variety of fields such as soft robotics, flexible electronics, and medical devices. The development of a water-responsive cholesteric liquid crystal ink and the accompanying direct ink writing (DIW) procedure is extending 4D printing to structurally colored inks. This is the first demonstration of a humidity-responsive color changing ink for extrusion 3D printing.

May 20th, 2022

Antibiotic-like boron nitride nanosheets for combating drug resistant bacteria

bacteriaThe antibiotic resistance crisis has been ascribed to the overuse and misuse of these medications, as well as a lack of motivation to develop new drugs. In the field of nanotechnology, a variety of innovative materials are being studied to evaluate their potential applications as antimicrobial agents. Recently, researchers have shown that boron nitride nanosheets as a nano-antibacterial agent displays antibiotic-like activities and BN nanosheets were found to show potent antibacterial efficiency in five multidrug resistant bacteria strains.

May 17th, 2022

Upcycling strategy turns discarded solar cells into thermoelectrics

solar-cell-wasteResearchers estimate that global PV module waste, 90% of which are made from crystalline silicon, will reach 1.7-1.8 million tonnes by 2030 and 60-78 million tonnes by 2050, which will likely reach the same order of magnitude as global electronic waste. A novel upcycling strategy adds value to this otherwise economically low-value waste silicon. With proper chemical doping, it allows silicon waste to be turned into high-performance thermoelectrics for heat energy harvesting.

May 16th, 2022